Colonial Beach

January 15, 2008
By Hannah Miller, Richmond, VA

I turn left into the small little town, that hasn’t changed very much in well over 50 years. Sheltered from the ever changing world around it, for example the McDonald’s right across the road, looking so out of place. The little shops and antique stores along the road, looking picturesque and just out of a 1940’s movie, the roads are short and everyone knows everyone.

Towards the middle of town is the town square, covered in beautiful pansies and mums and small oak trees. And slightly beyond it is the seaside casino so big and unattractive in the pretty little world that is Colonial Beach.

Continuing down the road going a slow five miles an hour as I pass the places I have seen numerous times, the Yacht Club, which is the local diner; the municipal pier, where the gazebo looks so inviting as it sits just mere inches away from the water. It’s so ironic to think that this beautiful little beach is really just a river dividing Maryland and Virginia. Being two places at once; now that is always something fun to look back on.

As I get further down to the end of town, which really when it ends – it just ends. It’s a dead end; the only way to get out of Colonial Beach is to leave the way you came in. It makes it seem so much more remote and isolated then you would if you could just drive right through. But getting further towards the end of town you see the piers for the fishermen and their little diner, it’s very secluded and very much just for them.

Then my eyes fall on something that makes me cringe- there in the middle of town construction going on, with a big sign: Coming Soon! Summer condominiums! Which are being built right behind a bar sitting on the edge of the board walk staring down at the beach. Two years ago this wasn’t here; it definitely wasn’t there when I first came here over ten years ago. It’s changing, and not in a good way. The town can survive without this, and I wonder how long it can stay the pretty picturesque town before it has condos everywhere and all the locals who have lived here for years upon years are bought out for the land. It’s a pretty town- but it’s a pretty town because of the community and the way it looks now, not the way it will look with 5 condos and a bar on the boardwalk.

I turn down a side street and park on the side of the road, listening to the water as the sun goes down and think about what else will be different or even gone the next time I come and visit.

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